ALL ABOUT THE SCALP RINGWORM
First of all, scalp ringworm is not really a worm! The word ringworm is obtained from the clinical feature of this disease. The condition is characterized by red circular marks on the skin.
This infection is also known as Tinea Capitis. It normally affects the scalps and the shafts of the hair present on the epidermal layer of the skin.
The infection is highly contagious in nature (spreads from person to person). It can also spread through the sharing of mutual items between affected and unaffected individuals. Although children are more susceptible to the scalp ringworm, a person can develop the infection at any age.
What are the Causes of the Ringworm of Scalp?
Dermatophytes are a special type of fungi which grow on the skin of humans and other animals. Fungi usually grow on dead materials, as skin is a dead substance, fungi can grow easily on it. The common places at which the ringworm can develop include the skin of the limbs, hair, fingernail, etc.
These fungi require a requisite amount of damp environment. The fungi multiply rapidly on moist and sweaty skin. Hence, poor hygiene and tropical climates are the main causes of the development of this disease.
Among the various symptoms caused by the ringworm of the scalp, itchiness of various parts of the scalp is one of the most important symptom of the infection. The itch can be uncontrollable and might lead to the scraping off of the skin of the scalp. This leads to the appearance of a red lesion like areas which turn into bald spots later.
Other Symptoms include:
- The appearance of black dots which mark the area of the former presence of the hair shaft.
- The hair starts turning brittle. This is due to the outgrowth of the fungus than the hair.
- Pain in the scalp is a classical characteristic of the ringworm infection.
- Low-grade fever can also be included in the list of possible symptoms.
- In severe cases, crust like swellings can develop. These swellings are known as kerion. They are instrumental in draining the pus collected in the scalp. This can lead to permanent balding of the scalp and the appearance of scars
Prevention is usually difficult in routine life, but maximum efforts should be taken to reduce the incidences of infection. Children should be taught to not share products with a mutual friend.
Regular application of hair products such as moisturizer and shampoo can bring down the incidences of ringworm to a bare minimum.
Pet animals should be thoroughly checked for any bald patches and extensive itching associated with sweat. These signs are enough to elicit a diagnosis of ringworm on the animal. As pets spend most of their time with their owners, they can transmit the infection via touch.
Regular checkups including adequate vaccination can be done regularly in order to keep your dog’s immunity in check.
Proper hygiene of humans along with animals is the only way by which this condition can be treated appropriately.
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